Voting has consequences – non-voting has even more!
Some hatfuls of votes in Florida caused George W. Bush to be elected 43rd President of the USA. Ten years later we’re still paying for his decisions to return a hefty US Government surplus to the taxpayer while fighting an unnecessary war in Iraq.
In 2008 Barack Obama seemed to promise so much and, in fairness, he inherited a banjaxed financial system and an economy hemorrhaging jobs. He made some unpopular decisions but, at the least, prevented a new depression.
I can’t even remember who got my vote in 2010. I know I voted because I didn’t want my grandfather’s ghost thundering at me as he did in life, “People died for this right, and you’re throwing it away?”
Regardless, voters changed the balance of power in the House of Representatives by electing a significant number of Tea Party candidates.
“A movement will always trump a political party.” Another of my grandfather’s edicts and how the Tea Party has proved him right. The tail now spastically wags the Republican dog.
A coldly cynical move by Senator McConnell and new Speaker Boehner to co-opt the Tea Party by adopting their “slash and burn” tactics brought the US government to the brink of default and tarnished its credit rating and international standing; this despite the fact that both men wholeheartedly supported all President Bush’s profligate spending.
But that’s democracy for you. Now how about a couple of questions for you, President Obama?
Did you ever hear of the Kennedys? Particularly Joe Sr., Jack and Bobby? They had a dictum – don’t get mad, get even.
If by some unlikely chance they’d suffered your recent negotiation humiliation, they would already have set up campaign offices in each Tea Party represented district. Their field coordinators would be shouting from the rooftops that 401(Ks) are down the toilet because of Republican intransigence; likewise no one should bet the farm on ever receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Ever played poker, Mr. President? If so, how come you casually tossed away the ace of the 14th Amendment by revealing beforehand that you wouldn’t use it in the recent negotiations?
You often remind me of the most popular boy in school – top of the class, great sportsman, all the girls love you. There’s nothing you feel you can’t do - including build bridges between the two political parties.
But that’s not on the cards, Mr. President! Republican politicians hate you. You make them look bad. You saved the banks, the car industry, the very capitalist system. Though they’d never admit it, you even pandered to them with your hated stimulus by giving 40% of it back in tax breaks.
“What’s a guy to do?” You must be saying to Michele over your steamed Broccoli every night.
How about toughening up? Start listening to some real pols – even that pearl-draped vixen, Nancy Pelosi; after all she passed your Health Insurance Reform Bill when you were about to cave on it.
You think Standard &Poor would have downgraded US credit if the Kennedys were running the show? That company would have been gelded back in 2008 for giving their clients AAA ratings on toxic derivatives. You didn’t even slap their wrists. No wonder they don’t respect you!
You’ve got one thing going: the lack of any credible Republican policy. Cutting taxes got us into this mess. Slashing budgets does not create jobs. And as for playing their usual God card? Fuggedabout it! I’ve got Him working full time on the Mets for the next couple of years.
All that aside, no one gets re-elected by saying “things will suck twice as bad if the other guy gets in.”
You still have a chance to fulfill your promise, and deliver a healthy economy and decent unemployment figures by 2016. But you won’t do that by patting backs and offering pious platitudes to people whose main objective is seeing the door hit your posterior on the way out.
Nice guys don’t always finish last but they usually come in second. And that’s not where this country needs you to be in 2012.